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How to avoid muscular imbalances and tension through footwork in dog sports

So vermeidest du als Hundehalter Verspannungen und muskuläre Dysbalancen beim Hund bei der Fußarbeit im Hundesport.

In many dog sports, emphasis is placed on footwork. This means that the dog runs on the left side of the handler. Ideally, the dog’s shoulder should be next to the handler’s left knee. The dog should also maintain eye contact with the handler by placing its head on the back of the neck and looking straight up or by tilting it to the handler’s right.

Footwork in dog sports – These movements are unnatural for your dog and cause problems

For the dog, this movement is unphysiological. In this case, it means that there is a very strong load on the muscles of the neck and cervical spine. However, the rest of the spine is also heavily loaded and the left front and hind legs are more heavily loaded than the right side of the body. The consequences: your dog gets unpleasant muscular tension and the muscling is underbalanced. This in turn also has an effect on the joints. In addition, non-physiological movement sequences are created. Your dog is then in a vicious circle.

What can be done to avoid overuse injuries in the form of muscular imbalances and tension in footwork?

In between lead on the right side

Even if it is not intended for your sport, it helps your dog a lot if you also lead him on the right side every now and then. In this way, you create an appropriate “counter or balancing movement” and avoid muscular imbalances and tension from developing. Footwork in dog sportsit i

Balancing exercises from movement training footwork in dog sports

In the human field, it is quite normal to supplement sport with “gymnastic” exercises, strength training, etc. This should also be part of the routine in dog sports. To prevent tension and unevenly developed muscles, you can use exercises from movement training. These include, for example:


By means of regular stretching exercises, for example, you have a balancing effect on the muscles and can keep them elastic and counteract one-sided shortening. Footwork in dog sportit in dog sport

Isometric exercises

With isometric exercises you train an even, pronounced musculature and an even load on the runs, so that in normal “everyday movements” the center of gravity does not habitually shift to the left half of the body.

Balance exercises

Also with balance exercises you support that your dog uses all four runs evenly and a balanced, healthy load is secured as well as a good body feeling. Footwork in dog sportit i

Looking for appropriate exercises for your dog? Then I recommend you my dog fitness online courses, in which you learn to support your dog with active movement exercises according to his needs. Click here for the overview: Doggy Fitness Online Courses


Massaging your dog after exercise is not only nice for him as wellness and relaxation, but especially ensures that tension is avoided or immediately loosened. Footwork in dog sportit i

If you want to learn simple massage techniques, here you will find information and instructions: Massage for dogs – Basics.

Are you active in dog sports? How do you avoid tension and muscular imbalances in your dog?

All the love, your Tina

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